Academy ACL middle grades strong again on TCAP tests; Midland, Buena Vista also score in 90sThe scores were slightly less impressive, but for the second straight year, the Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning (Academy ACL) dominated District 11 scores at the middle school level in last spring's Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) testing.
The K-8 charter school at 2510 N. Chestnut St. produced D-11's highest percentage of proficient/advanced students in sixth-grade math (86) and reading (91), seventh-grade math (84), reading (89) and writing (89), and eighth-grade math (82) and writing (82). In the only other two middle-school categories - sixth- grade writing (69) and eighth-grade reading (76) - Academy ACL came in second.
“Proficient” is a standardized-testing term to define students who show they at least understand the course material for their grade level. “Advanced” exceeds that. An annual, standardized state test that's apparently in its last year, the TCAPs are intended to reveal how well Colorado schools are preparing students in grades 3-10.
In 2013, Academy ACL had posted a fairly rare 100 percent proficient/advanced in sixth-grade reading, along with four other plus-90s scores in grades 6-7. (The school did not have enough eighth-graders to qualify for official TCAP percentages.) By contrast, in 2014 the school had just one score in the 90s for all three middle-school grades.
Also noteworthy this year on the Westside was Midland Elementary, which tallied a 95 percent in fourth-grade math and a 90 in fourth-grade reading. The 95 was good for second best of all D-11 elementaries in that category and the 90 was third best. It was definitely at the pinnacle among the district's Title 1 schools (those with 75 percent of their students qualifying for free or reduced lunches).
Other Westside schools cracking the 90 percent TCAP level were Buena Vista Elementary's fourth-grade readers (92 - second best in the district) and Academy ACL's fifth-grade readers (90 - third best).
In grades 6-8, the Westside actually went one-two for the district in six of the categories. Holmes Middle School was tops in eighth-grade reading (82), followed by Academy ACL, and was runner-up to the charter in sixth-grade math (65), seventh-grade reading (83) and writing (74), and eighth-grade math (66) and writing (67).
At the high school level, Coronado - which in previous years has typically led the district in statewide testing for grades 9-10 (though rarely scoring 90 percent or better) - slumped in every category and led in none of them in 2014. The worst decline was from 51 to 38 percent proficient/advanced in ninth-grade writing. No reason can be given for certain, but going into the 2013-14 school year, a big change at Coronado had been the enrollment addition of about 150 students, most of them living east of I-25 in attendance areas formerly assigned to Wasson (which closed) and Palmer High.
Here are all of last spring's Westside-school TCAP scores of 80 percent or better:
Math - Howbert (84) and Bristol (82).
Reading - Buena Vista (86) and Howbert (81).
Math - Midland (95), Buena Vista (85) and Academy ACL (83).
Reading - Buena Vista (92), Midland (90).
Math - Howbert (85) and Academy ACL (80).
Reading - Academy ACL (90) and Bristol (80).
Math - Academy ACL (86)
Reading - Academy ACL (91).
Math - Academy ACL (84).
Reading - Academy ACL (89) and Holmes (83)
Writing - Academy ACL (89).
Math - Academy ACL (82).
Reading - Holmes (82).
Writing - Academy ACL (82).
Westside Pioneer article